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I am but mad north by northwest...
Fast Times At NAMBLA High: Part 5 
22nd-Feb-2007 08:01 pm
Aretha Putin
Title: Fast Times at NAMBLA High: Part Five
Author: Mwah.
Fandom: The Daily Show... with a smattering of guest appearances.
Pairing: Including but not limited to:
Jon/Stephen, Stephen/Paul, Stephen/Craig Kilborn, Jon/Anderson Cooper, Paul/Amy, Rob/Frustration, Ed/Confusion, (Rob/Frustration)/(Ed/Confusion), Mo Rocca/Lewis Black, Sam/Jason, Demetri Martin/Nathan Corddry, Bob Novak/Hair nets, Aasif Mandvi/Tucker Carlson, Stone Phillips/Barbara Walters, Dan Bakkedahl/Rob Riggle, Dane Cook/His ego, Dave Gorman/John Oliver, Jerry Seinfeld/Steve Carell, Bill O’Reilly/Hatred, Keith Olbermann/Everyone, John Hodgeman/Bill Gates, Tucker/Craig, Aasif/Anderson, John Hodgeman/Sarah Vowell, Will Ferrell/MOP?, Keith/Dennis Leary, George Clooney/Charm
*NEW* Featured pairing(s): John Oliver/Dave Gorman, Jon/Steve (in a friendshippy way)
Rating: Back to PG-13! Yaaay safeness.
Warning: Crack: it's what's for dinner. Other warnings: AU, drug use, underage drinking, het crap, and Will Ferrell being creepy. For this specific chapter? An abuse of British terms for food. Seriously, I was going off of what I remember from visiting once two years ago. And then wikipedia to make sure I was quasi-right. And I just watched the entire series of Spaced, so you can blame any weird, Britishy humor on that. Oh, Simon Pegg. I adore you.
A/N: So it continues! The story lives, it was just me who died. I was killed repeatedly by midterms. Damn you, college! You take away my time to do things that matter! This chapter is also shorter because I was struck by the opposite of inspiration. (pee ess: Jaffa cakes are these cookie dealies, the best of which (in my opinion) are made by McVities... wooo product placement!)
Length: 2601
Feedback: Feedback helps my crack addiction. Give generously.
Previous chapters:
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Four Point Five: An Interlude of sorts
Summary: This is what I wrote as a summary at 3 in the AM when I was supposed to be writing a paper but instead conceived of this horrifying brainchild:

The OC meets TDS meets High School Musical meets TCR meets Queer As Folk times a billion meets my life meets Strangers with Candy meets Footloose meets Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret meets CNN meets CRACK.

In this edition of FTANH: Steve is his awesome self, Jon is cute, John pines, and Dave spews forth British-isms.

Part Five

Knock knock knock.

“Come in!”

Steve swiveled his chair around from where he had been playing spider solitaire to find a short young man with sort of curly, darkish hair peeking in through his door.

“Uh, Mr. Carell?” he asked hesitantly, looking oddly red-faced.

“Yeah, that’d be me. Come on in.” Pulling out a file, Steve consulted it briefly before nodding for the boy to sit. “Please, have a seat,” he said, trying to sound friendly even though the day had been wearing on him. The boy flashed a nervous smile and sat down, fiddling with his backpack strap and glancing about the office. “Jon, is it?”

“Yeah, Jon. Jon Leibowitz,” he answered hastily.

“So, you moved here from Jersey?”

“Yes sir.”

Steve waved a dismissing hand. “Please don’t call me sir. It’s really not healthy for my ego,” he chuckled. He was relieved when the young man cracked a smile, looking calmed by Steve’s jovial tone.

In all honesty, Steve hated doing these kinds of things. It always felt so impersonal, so fast and clinical. He was that person in these kids’ lives that they’d forget the fastest, the person that really held no sway over where they were headed save giving them advice that was almost never heeded. He always assumed when he was in school studying psychology that he would be a new sort of counselor; that he’d help people all while being their friend and aiding them in taking a new direction in life. Which is why he had gone into high school counseling in the first place! Kids were awesome. Kids he could understand. Kids were often so much less jaded than adults.

Of course, he hadn’t really been prepared for how, well… fucked up kids could be either. Coming from a fairly run-of-the-mill family with typical familial issues, he wasn’t completely prepared for the sort of emotionally draining issues some of these young people brought to the table. So he just had to suck it up and deal. He couldn’t save everyone. He knew that.

If only he really could understand why.

“So, why the big move?” he intoned curiously, flipping through the file again. Okay grades… good performance… once cursed out a security guard? Huh.

“Uh… my mom wanted to be closer to her sister.”

“Hmm, why’s that?” Steve asked slightly distractedly, his eye catching something on the papers before him. Ah, so he was in newspaper before? That’s promising. He looked up to find Jon shifting uncomfortably before coughing into his fist and rubbing the back of his neck.

“Ah, well, she wasn’t too keen on staying in the area anymore.” Steve merely cocked his head, trying to look sympathetic yet concerned and interested at the same time. He had been told many-a-time that it was a skill he was good at. Jon swallowed hard and continued. “What with my dad, uh… leaving and all.”

“Hmm,” Steve murmured, feeling his stomach go queasy for the boy. Nancy had always told him that he got too emotionally involved with the students’ problems but honestly. Abandonment combined with divorce? It just sucked. “So your parents aren’t together anymore?”

Jon snorted ruefully and Steve felt his heart go out to the boy again. “Yeah, you could say that,” he muttered darkly.

“How has the transition been?” Steve asked kindly, knowing the change of subject would probably be appreciated.

Jon shrugged, glancing away and playing with the hem of his shirt. “Alright, I guess. Most people here seem to be dicks.” Suddenly seeming to remember himself, the boy looked up and stuttered out, “Oh, sorry, uh…”

Steve chuckled and shook his head. “Don’t worry about it Jon. You’re entitled to your feelings.” He leafed through the file again. “So you haven’t met anyone you can see becoming friends with?”

“Well,” Jon conceded, “sort of. But uh… there was a bit of an awkward encounter involving the janitor and his closet…” He got a far-off look on his face before shaking his head and blinking. “Anyway, now I think they might be pretty keen on avoiding me for a while.”

“The janitor?” Steve bit his lip to keep from smirking. “Poor you. He’s a little on the… uh… eccentric side.”

Jon snorted again. “Huh, you’re telling me.”

“Have you considered joining any clubs? That may help with getting acclimated to the new school and everything.”

The boy looked away, shrugging and examining his cuticles. “Yeah, I mean… whatever.”

Taking a moment to consider his options, Steve resolutely put his folder aside and wheeled around the desk to face Jon more fully. He might as well be real with the kid. The young man looked up in surprise.

“Look,” Steve started, tiredness tinting his voice, “I know this is tough. You’re coming in here, not knowing anyone, and I know everyone here is, well… probably a different sort of person than you’d usually ever want to be affiliated with. But you’re here for two years, Jon. Spending that time by yourself will be so much less rewarding than just sucking it up and putting yourself out there. I also know that being the only Jewish kid in this school can be a strain too… believe me. I’m friends with Mr. Seinfeld after all.” A tiny smile graced the boy’s features before he went back to avoiding Steve’s eyes. “Just don’t shut people out. I know high school blows, but it can blow a lot less if you try and connect with someone.

“Anyway,” Steve sighed in a much louder and less grave voice, “I really think you should try out Newspaper. Mr. Seinfeld is the faculty advisor and from what I’ve heard, it sounds like you shouldn’t have any trouble expressing yourself.” The startled look he received made Steve laugh and he pushed his chair back to its original position. “So, what do you think? It starts…” he checked his papers, “next Wednesday.”

The young man stared at his hands a moment more before a real smile slowly blossomed across his face. “Yeah,” he said quietly, shrugging a shoulder. “Why not? Couldn’t hurt anything.”

Steve matched the smile on Jon’s face. “Of course not. So basically just show up!” Glancing at the clock, Steve made a noise of mild annoyance in the back of his throat. “Unfortunately, that’s all the time I have. It seems the school system thinks giving me twenty minutes with a new student is enough time to really get to know them.” Sighing, he began to stack some of the sea of papers before him. “Anyway, it was really good talking to you, Mr. Leibowitz. If you need anything, just give me a shout and I’d be more than happy to meet with you.”

Standing at the door, the boy nodded and began to exit. “Alright. Uh, Mr. Carell?” Steve looked up from trying to decipher his own handwriting to see Jon smiling warmly at him. “Thanks.”

Steve felt that feeling that he didn’t often get anymore… the pleasant feeling down in the pit of his stomach that maybe he was following a true calling. “Don’t mention it,” he responded kindly.

With that, Jon was gone and Steve was left to figure out whether he had meant to write “importance” or “impotence.”


“Tara… no, not… Alright, everyone! Quiet down! Bloody hell. Alright, sopranos, I need you to sing G minor… yes, minor… no, okay, Susan! That is not minor. That is not even a note! Your pitch is all… Paul, do not put that in her hair! I can see you! Yes, settle. Please. Okay, here we have three-four time and you lot are singing it in four-four time which is completely… no, you can’t sing second soprano! We’ve already got too many! And you can reach the high notes! Well, fine, fine, we’ll leave Jenna and Soledad to do it all on their own then? For the love of… Susan, what in God’s name are you even singing? Those aren’t the words! No, I’m fairly sure they aren’t. What bar are you on? Well, the rest of us are on bar 23. Yes, page 3. No, bar 23. Soledad, please show her… Please just… DON’T PUT THAT IN HER HAIR PAUL, FOR GOD’S SAKE.

“Alright, that’s it. I’m done. No! No, I’m done. Amy? Where’s Amy? Ah, can you pop Mr. Holland’s Opus in for me? I need to go and have a sit down. If I hear anything, ANYTHING, I swear I will give you all detention. And make you sing Carol King! No, I swear I will. Now just… just shut up and watch the movie. No, you can’t come in here! Watch the bloody movie!” Finally alone, John Oliver flopped into his desk chair. “Jesus Christ,” he breathed, staring inconsolably at his tidy workspace and rubbing his eyes.

He hadn’t signed up for this. Sure, he liked children but these monsters were not children. What they were was hormone-driven, tone-deaf carriers of pestilence and at the moment he couldn’t remember why on earth he had ever even had a semblance of a thought that he wanted to be a teacher. Sure, after breaking up with Brian he had imagined having an emotional re-awakening and plunged back into school with a vengeance before being daft and moving to the states… but that all seemed like a distant memory now! Obviously it had been madness, brought on by grief and too little sleep and too many twiglets. Now all he could do was imagine being back home, watching cricket and eating McVitie’s. He didn’t even like cricket, but it was so damn British that he missed it. Jaffa cakes would just seal the fucking deal.

Sighing, he plunked his forehead against the table and tried to remind himself that he had a job and even if he had been forced into teaching chorus of all fucking things, there were worse things he could be doing. Like… washing dogs. That particular job had been terrible. Or working as an actor at that museum. Or waiting tables.

Feeling considerably calmer, he sighed again and let his eyes slide closed. Hell, he didn’t even like England that much anyway. It was cold and rainy and there were fucking sheep everywhere. The people were stuffy and stuck-up and never that expressive. The food was terrible… hell, they made pudding out of blood! And one could never forget how horribly and sickening polite everyone was.

God, he missed it.

Suddenly a knock at his door startled him out of his reverie.

“Didn’t I say watch the bloody movie?” he yelled (or rather screeched), hoping whoever it was would go away.

“Er, sorry? It’s Dave Gorman.”

John sprung up out of his chair without thinking and threw open the door to reveal an anxious-looking Dave. “Sorry, mate, thought you were one of the kids there,” he laughed nervously. “Come on in.”

“Got them preoccupied with a movie already, eh? Bit early on in the year for that,” Dave chuckled, sitting down in the chair John offered.

“Ah, this is the States,” John winked, “I fear that’s how it’s done here more often than not.” He glanced about the room, trying to think of ways to be more hospitable after his amazing show of hostility not moments before. “I’d uh, offer tea but I fear I’m not allowed appliances in the office. Biscuit?”

“Ah, no thanks, I’m good,” Dave replied, waving his hand in dismissal. “So, rough day?”

John smiled slightly. “Could tell, could you?”

“I figured screaming at the door for your students to go away would be a sign,” the other man replied dryly.

Grinning sheepishly and shaking his head, John rubbed a hand on the back of his neck. “I don’t much like teaching chorus, you see. I used to be in concert piano before I, er… reevaluated my life so orchestra is at least a bit more bearable. I just can’t stand this chorus bullocks.”

Dave shrugged, smiling back. “Well, can’t say I blame you. I heard them from the hall this morning and it’s dead dreadful.” As John laughed, Dave’s grin turned mischievous. “Hence me coming to visit and all. Thought you might need cheering up.”

“Ah, well, that’s too much the case. How’re your classes so far?”

“Oh, fine. I mean, they have me teaching Asiatic history which I have no background in whatsoever so I’m reading the textbook before every lecture just to pretend that I know what I’m talking about. But I guess such are the ways of the Yankee public school system.” Both men smiled at each other for a moment in silence before Dave coughed into his fist, looking a bit nervous. “Would you be interested in getting a drink at some point? I’m new in town and all…”

“Christ,” John muttered, slapping a palm to his forehead, “of course! I should have thought to do that earlier. Uh, me and the lads go out on Fridays for a pint if you’d like to come along?”

Dave still looked uncertain. “You sure they wouldn’t mind?”

“Oh, of course not. I mean, Jerry bitches and moans about everything but so do I so you might as well get used to that, eh? And Steve likes pretty much everybody, long as they’ve got a pulse. And even sometimes when they don’t.” Christ, he was rambling. But the other man just nodded absently, looking mildly pleased. And then an idea dawned upon John. “Say, I’m planning on cooking up some bangers and mash tomorrow to have a bit of a British expat dinner. It’d be lovely to have some company.”

Dave’s eyes lit up. “Really? That sounds amazing, to be honest. Been missing the food, believe it or not.” A shy look came over his face and he played with the cuff of his sleeve. “Do you have tea?”

“Of course,” John chuckled. “I get it imported, actually. Can’t stand the shite they try to serve up here.”

“I feel like I should bring something…” Dave murmured, worrying his lip.

“Don’t worry about it! Consider it my ‘Welcome to America’ meal for you. British style.”

“Wait!” Dave exclaimed, excitement dancing on his face. “I actually still have some Jaffa Cakes left over from what I had with me. Does that sound good?”

His heart was soaring. Fucking soaring. He clutched a hand to his chest. “Wait, you’ve got McVitie’s?” he whispered in awe. “I was just daydreaming about them! That would be perfect.”

“Oh, good,” Dave gushed before glancing at his watch. “Well, I’ve got to be on my way but I look forward to tomorrow!”

John led him to the door and pulled it open. “As do I.”

“It’s a date then,” Dave said with a wolfish grin before giving a small salute and walking off.

John watched him for a moment until the other man exited to the room. After a few seconds, he realized it was quiet. Too quiet. Shaking the fog that he had been in away, he happened a glance at his students who just happened to all be staring back.

“What?” he demanded.

“The movie broke,” someone offered weakly after a moment’s silence.

“Are you joking? Well, watch C-SPAN then.”

“What does that have to do with music?”

“The hell if I know! Just… occupy yourselves.”

With that he turned back to his office, fighting down the secret smile that was trying it’s darndest to be on his face and the butterflies in his stomach.

“Jaffa caaaaakes,” he sung quietly to himself, shooting a girl giving him an odd look a glare before shutting the door resolutely behind him.



Tune in next time for Jon and Stephen finally interacting again (maybe), Jerry being awkward, and Dave and John being so very British.

ENDNOTE: This is dedicated to my high school chorus teacher... sure, he wasn't as hateful as John, but he did make us watch Mr. Holland's Opus an ungodly number of times. And wear dresses that made us look like whores. Oh, high school.

Disclaimer: Any similarity between the fictional version of the person portrayed here and the actual persons is purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction. This is not an attempt to defame the character of said person on the basis of libel, as the work is FICTIONAL (and NOT an intently false statement created with the express purpose of misleading others about the actual character of said person).

Any mention of 'The Daily Show', 'The Colbert Report', 'Viacom', any associated entities, or any copyrighted material pertaining therein is reasonably protected by the Fair Use Rule of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 and is not intended to infringe upon any copyrighted material.
23rd-Feb-2007 02:00 am (UTC)
I think everyone's choir teacher made them watch Mr. Holland's Opus an ungodly number of times.
23rd-Feb-2007 07:04 am (UTC)
Man, I grew to hate that movie. Especially since my mom loves it and made me watch it as a kid as well. My sister and I always thought the "Beautiful Cole" scene was hilarious, prompting my mother to think we were terrible people. Poor mommy. She has no idea.
23rd-Feb-2007 02:18 am (UTC)
"Well watch C-span then!"

I am still laughing. As I type. Fucking fantastic line. Moreso because I actually did watch C-span in school, in classes where it certainly wasn't calld for. So very looking forward to more.
23rd-Feb-2007 05:15 am (UTC)
XDDD For us it was CNN.
23rd-Feb-2007 02:19 am (UTC)
Really? We had dresses that made us look like nuns. Ah, high school.

Oh, and this chapter, as does every chapter, rocks. Much love for Steve and the Brits :D
23rd-Feb-2007 07:09 am (UTC)
See, my choral teacher was a bit of a perv... a well-meaning perv, but a perv all the same. When we bowed, we had to hold our dresses to our chests lest we flash the entire audience.

I adore writing British people! Probably because I watch so many British sitcoms. Yaaaay England.
23rd-Feb-2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Jaffa Cakes - awesome! Can I ask what prompted that...? :)
23rd-Feb-2007 03:14 am (UTC)

That is all.

*runs away*
23rd-Feb-2007 04:11 am (UTC)
What bar are you on? Well, the rest of us are on bar 23. Yes, page 3. No, bar 23. Soledad, please show her… Please just… DON’T PUT THAT IN HER HAIR PAUL, FOR GOD’S SAKE.

HEE. That is AMAZING. And Mr. Holland's Opus!! Fantastic.
23rd-Feb-2007 07:19 am (UTC)
That little part was more of a homage to my church chior director who thought we all were retarded at music... mainly because we were, but whatever.

No choral class was complete without a viewing of Richard Dreyfuss singing "Beautiful Cole."
23rd-Feb-2007 04:15 am (UTC)
You made me feel bad for never really caring all that much about my high school guidance counselor! I really liked that part a lot actually.

And the choir scene? It was like a snapshot of one of my high school choirs. God that class was an absolute zoo. I don't have a clue as to how we always looked and sounded presentable come concert time. And we watched Mr. Holland's Opus, WAY too many times as well. And Phantom of the Opera. Although that one was seen more as a treat while Opus was seen as a punishment. And then in band we watched Drumline way the hell too much. Are you going to have a band class? Jon used to play the French horn you know....

Anyway, my love for this story continues, of course. Nice work as always, I can't wait for more. :)
23rd-Feb-2007 07:24 am (UTC)
Unfortunately my guidance counselor was a bit of a lazy dick, but we all know Steve would be kickass. I've found that I've been fashioning him after his character in Little Miss Sunshine more than anything else. Can I help that I love that movie so much? I think not.

Man, our practices were terrible. It didn't help that our teacher was a complete Space Cadet. Phantom wasn't out yet when I was in chorus... wow, that kind of dates me. Haha. We'd watch this "Santana: LIVE!" DVD that we were pretty sure had nothing to do with anything.

THANK YOU FOR READING! I'm looking forward to writing the next couple of parts. Yay.
23rd-Feb-2007 06:51 am (UTC)
okay, laughing SO hard at john's rant to the choir kids...you have such a gift for writing such a wide aray of characters....moooooooore.
23rd-Feb-2007 07:29 am (UTC)
That choir rant brought back baaaaad memories. Even though I miss singing, I do NOT miss the unique pain that is the hell of high school choral rehearsals.

Thanks! I'm always worried that my characters are getting monotonous after I've been writing for a while. Throwing in the Brits seems to be helping. And how weird Rob is. Hee.

Moooore is coooooming...
23rd-Feb-2007 11:21 am (UTC)
*does a little dance*

i am loving this fic so very much!

24th-Feb-2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yaaaay I appreciate your love! Thank you for reading!!!

And your icon, though I don't know where it's from, made me smile. Oh, flamingo men.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
23rd-Feb-2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, cricket.

Is Susan anyone in particular? I didn't see her in the pairings list. (Soledad, of course, was lovely.)
24th-Feb-2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
In truth, Susan isn't really anyone save a homage to one of my high school chums who would probably horrified to have her name put into a story as gay as this one. She may become someone someday, I'm not sure. Or she'll remain some faceless person who shall remain an enigma for all time.

Soledad will show up more later too. Woo! I'm going to burn myself out with such a plethora of characters, man. I be crrrrazy.
(Deleted comment)
24th-Feb-2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
I took chorus willingly as an art-type requirement. Everyone can sing! At least, so I've been informed by certain crazy choir instructors when I was forced to sit beside a chronically tone-deaf person. Whatever, it's true! BELIEVE IN YO'SELF!

Hmm, see, I thought it was bollocks too but then every time I typed it Microsoft Word was like "HISSSS NOOOOOO, IT'S BULLOCKS!!!" and I got too lazy to correct it whenever it changed it automatically. And I had the subtitles on the British version of the Office for my mom since she couldn't understand what they were saying and they spelled it with a "u" too. I don't know. I may just leave it as is to please the MW nazis.

I loved how many sheep were in England. It was really astounding to me as someone who grew up in dairy country. I was like "where are my heifer brethren? WHERE??"

23rd-Feb-2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
This whole story is amazing. The British-ness was especially amusing. :D
24th-Feb-2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
I loves me the Brits, what can I say.

Thanks for loving it! Yaaay validation.
(Deleted comment)
24th-Feb-2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
We never saw Fantasia... I think Mr. Crarey had an aversion to cartoons. We did, however, watch Newsies a couple of times which was fine with me because I was obsessed with it. Ah, so slashy. My first obsession with boys who seemed in love with each other.

Hee. Choir was definitely an experience... my church choral instructor yelled at us more than my school one. The laziness was based off my school teacher. Hah, silly Mr. Crarey.
24th-Feb-2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
You, you, you, you... you... BAH!

You are love. ALL SORTS OF LOVE!
25th-Mar-2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
Please more with Mr. Carrell. I love how you write him, very kind rather wearied by the students. I have such a soft spot for Steve. Maybe Jon will elaborate on how he feels?

Oh God, I laughed at John in this chapter--you've got John's voice down pat. "What they were was hormone-driven, tone-deaf carriers of pestilence" and "Sighing, he plunked his forehead against the table and tried to remind himself that he had a job and even if he had been forced into teaching chorus of all fucking things, there were worse things he could be doing. Like… washing dogs" to name but two

I love this story so much.

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